Ethanol Rail Movements Update – Nov ’21
According to the EIA, ethanol rail movements declined to a seven month low level throughout Sep ’21, finishing 7.3% below previous year levels. The YOY decline in monthly ethanol rail movements was the second experienced in a row and the largest experienced throughout the past six months on a percentage basis.
2020 annual ethanol rail movements declined 9.7% on a YOY basis, reaching a five year low level, however 2021 YTD ethanol rail movements have rebounded by 8.5% throughout the first three quarters of the calendar year, despite the recently experienced declines.
12 month rolling average ethanol rail movements have ranged from 60% – 69% of monthly ethanol production, historically. Sep ’21 ethanol rail movements accounted for 68.1% of monthly production on a 12 month rolling average basis, returning to a five month low level. 12 month rolling average ethanol rail movements as a percentage of production reached a record high level of 69.0% throughout Jul ’21, prior to declining over the two most recent months of available data.
Ethanol rail movement figures are broken out by Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) for both originating rail movements and destinations of shipments. The U.S. is regionally divided into five PADDs, which include the East Coast, Midwest, Gulf Coast, Rocky Mountain and West Coast.
Over 98% of the total rail movements originated in PADD 2 (Midwest) during Sep ’21. Over 7.4 million barrels of ethanol rail movements were destined to PADD 1 (East Coast) during Sep ’21, leading all regional districts.
Ethanol rail movements destined to PADD 1 (East Coast) accounted for two fifths of the total shipments during Sep ’21. Combined shipments to PADD 1 (East Coast), PADD 3 (Gulf Coast) and PADD 5 (West Coast) accounted for 90% of total ethanol rail movements, with minimal amounts being shipped to PADD 2 (Midwest), Canada and PADD 4 (Rocky Mountain).
Ethanol rail movements destined to PADD 5 (West Coast) finished most significantly above historical average figures throughout Sep ’21 while ethanol movements destined to PADD 1 (East Coast) finished most significantly below historical average figures.